Posted on 28. Jul, 2010 in News

Victorian families will have no idea where the Opposition stands on climate change, with Ted Baillieu’s weak leadership on the issue leaving Opposition MPs unable to firmly state whether they support the Brumby Labor Government’s strong action plan on climate change.

The Minister for Energy and Resources, Peter Batchelor, said Opposition MPs were unwilling to give a concrete view on key elements of the Brumby Government’s climate change action plan, because Mr Baillieu had gone into hiding on the issue.

“Mr Baillieu is too weak to even lead his party on a difficult issue like climate change – how could he ever hope to lead the State through tough challenges,” Mr Batchelor said.

“Whether people agree with their plans or not, Premier John Brumby, Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott have had the courage to spell out what they stand for on climate change.

“The only Parliamentary leader who is too weak to say what he stands for on climate change is Ted Baillieu.”

Mr Batchelor said Mr Baillieu’s weak leadership had left his Opposition MPs unable to clearly say what they would do to secure the environment for the future.

In an interview on ABC Gippsland with Celine Foenander yesterday morning (Tuesday 27 July), Nationals MP Russell Northe timidly suggested he would support the staged closure of Hazelwood Power Station.

Compere: “If the Coalition gets up at the next election, will you phase out or will discussions continue with Hazelwood to phase it out or will this be taken off the table?”


Northe: “Oh no, I think it is a task that all political parties need to pursue.”

Mr Batchelor said Mr Baillieu’s weak leadership left his own backbenchers in a position where they are forced to admit they support the staged closure of Hazelwood, but cannot put forward a plan to secure jobs and investment in the Latrobe Valley.

“Mr Baillieu has never had to worry about where the money is coming from, so no wonder he feels no need to come up with a plan to secure jobs in the Latrobe Valley,” Mr Batchelor said.

“In contrast, our Government understands how important jobs are to Victorian families, that’s why we are delivering key jobs and investment programs as part of our climate change action plan.”

The Minister for Regional and Rural Development Jacinta Allan said she and Mr Batchelor today hosted a roundtable with key community and industry stakeholders in the Latrobe Valley.

“The Brumby Labor Government is determined to drive down emissions and drive up jobs and investment,” Ms Allan said.

“We are standing up for jobs and standing up for the environment, unlike Mr Baillieu who is too weak to stand up for anything.

“Mr Baillieu’s weak leadership on climate change is precisely the same as the weak leadership he showed on Channel Deepening, on securing Victoria’s water supplies and on protecting jobs in the face of the Global Financial Crisis.

“Mr Baillieu’s weak leadership sells out the environment, it sells out jobs and it sells out the future for Victorian families.”

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